How to Pass Oral Drug Test

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Oral drug tests can be absolutely frightening! They can be sprung on you at any time and they give lightning quick results. The best way to prepare for a saliva test – whether random or scheduled – is to have a specialized neutralizing mouthwash on hand. In this guide, we’re going to cover everything there to know about mouth swab drug tests, and we’re going to give you an overview of the top detoxifying mouthwashes on the market. 

If you want to learn how to pass a mouth swab drug test, then keep reading!

technician with a saliva drug testing kit

What is a Mouth Swab Drug Test?

Also called a saliva drug test or oral fluids test, a mouth swab drug test entails getting a saliva sample from the person’s mouth using a collection stick with either a sponge or absorbent pad. The tester normally takes a sample from the gum line or under the tongue, because these sites contain the highest concentration of drug metabolites.

A mouth swab drug test can detect substances such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cannabis (THC)
  • Methamphetamine
  • Opioids
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

A saliva drug test is cheaper and less invasive compared to hair follicle, blood, and urine tests, which is why it’s becoming more and more common. The actual procedure requires minimal preparation and effort on the tester’s side. Furthermore, acquiring the sample only takes a couple of minutes to perform.

When administered properly, this type of drug testing reportedly has a 98% accuracy rate. That is, unless you take proactive measures to trick the test.

How Accurate is a Mouth Swab Test?

When performed without error, a mouth swab test boasts an accuracy rating of 98%. Instant testing, however, is usually not as accurate as comprehensive lab testing. The results of a mouth swab test might also be affected by the skill level of the technician performing the test, the time of testing in relation to the detection window, the quality of the testing mechanism, and the concentration of the drug ingested. 

When attempting to identify long-term drug use, however, swab tests aren’t favored, as they have much shorter detection periods than other testing methods. 

Why Mouth Swab Tests Are Becoming Increasingly Common

Perhaps the number one reason employers are beginning to favor mouth swab tests over other forms of drug testing is the fact that it’s completely non-invasive. It doesn’t require a separate room for privacy and takes very little time to administer. 

Swab testing also requires very little training – in about 30 minutes or less, any technician can learn to perform the procedure. Not to mention swab tests are incredibly convenient. They can be administered on the spot at any given time, which means managers can have their employees tested at work rather than sending them off to a third-party facility. Also, compared to urine testing, additional swab samples can be collected immediately. 

When it comes to ensuring a drug-free workplace, spot testing can act as a powerful deterrent since they are much harder to cheat compared to urine or hair tests. 

Lastly, saliva tests are cost-efficient. Results can be available in a very short span of time for a very affordable price tag.

When is a Saliva Drug Test Taken?

The low cost and effectiveness of saliva drug testing makes it ideal for cautious employers. It is often part of the last phase of a pre-employment screening. Even if you’re a company’s top choice for a new recruit, a negative result may cause them to withdraw the job offer. 

Regular employees may also be asked to submit to saliva drug tests at random, for periodical testing, after the employee returns from a long leave, or after a workplace accident. Law enforcement agents usually use oral tests for roadside drug testing. When there is reason to suspect that a driver is under the influence, some police will use an instant oral drug test kit that provides quick results.

A swab test is so quick to administer and requires very little preparation on the tester’s side, making it difficult to predict. It can happen anytime, anywhere! You may be asked to provide a sample when you least expect it. If you’re not willing to abstain, it’s best to be prepared with an effective detoxifying solution at all times.

What’s The Detection Window For A Saliva Test For Drugs?

The mouth swab test can detect illegal drug use much sooner than other drug testing methods. That’s because it takes a longer time for most substances to metabolize and become detectable in blood, urine, or hair samples.

The detection period for saliva testing for drugs depends on several factors, particularly the type of drug, quantity and frequency of use, overall health, and even body mass. While other drug tests are ideal for determining long-term, patterned substance use, swab testing can only detect recent activity. Drugs generally remain detectable in oral fluids within about 5 to 24 hours after use. 

Here’s a quick guide on the average detection windows of the most commonly used drugs:

Marijuana: THC metabolites can be detected for up to 6-12 hours from ingestion. In more frequent or heavy users, this window can extend to over 24 hours. There have also been rare cases wherein THC was detected 28 days after the last use!

Methamphetamine: Once ingested, methamphetamine can come up in a saliva drug test after 30 minutes, to an hour. It can remain detectable for up to 3 days after the last dose.

Opiates: Substances such as morphine, codeine, and thebaine tend to leave the system quickly, but may remain detectable in saliva between 24 to 48 hours.

How a Mouth Swab Test is Done

Mouth swab tests can be administered at any time of the day, but must occur at least 20 minutes after the donor has eaten, smoked, or ingested any liquids. Here’s what you can expect from a mouth swab test procedure.

  1. A technician rubs the swab component along the inside of the donor’s cheeks or under the donor’s tongue until a sufficient amount of saliva is collected. This usually takes no more than one to two minutes. 
  2. The technician will then place the swab inside a collection container that is either packed and sent to a lab or placed immediately inside a testing panel. 
  3. In about 10 minutes, the saliva will saturate the panels. Colored lines will appear according to whether the specimen indicates a positive or negative result. 2 lines suggest a negative result, whereas 1 line suggests a positive result. Each panel will indicate results for different drugs being tested.

Top 5 Detox Products to Help You Pass a Oral Drug Test

Thankfully, there are ways to rid your saliva of detectable metabolites should you come face-to-face with a saliva drug test. 

If you’re lucky enough to get a heads up about an upcoming saliva test, all you have to do is excuse yourself to the nearest restroom and gargle with a specialized detoxifying mouthwash. For drivers, you can also swish some mouthwash before every trip so that you’re prepared for a roadside drug test.

Here’s a complete ranking of the five most popular products on the market:

1. Toxin Rid Rescue Wash

toxin rid mouthwash for oral drug testIf you’re looking for an effective, affordable, tasty, and discreet neutralizing mouthwash, Toxin Rid Rescue Wash is all of that and more. As one of the most highly recommended detox mouthwashes, you’ll find pages and pages of high praise for this solution. The manufacturer even offers a money back guarantee for anyone who fails their drug test.

It comes in a tiny 1-ounce bottle, allowing you to transport and gargle with it discreetly. Plus, it takes effect in just one minute after use, so it’s good to have on hand for surprise tests in the office or even in the car in case you get pulled over. 

If we were to nitpick and find one flaw with this mouthwash, we’ll have to say that this one isn’t the best tasting out of all the products listed here. However, if the trade off for gargling with an unsavory mouthwash for a few seconds is passing a drug test with flying colors, we’ll take it. 

Pros and Cons

  • Relatively inexpensive compared to other brands
  • Easily the best way to pass a saliva drug test
  • Works in 1 minute
  • Works even without abstinence

Saliva Home Drug Testing Kit

Now, if you’re extra anxious about passing an upcoming drug test, you can buy the SalivaConfirm 5-Panel Oral Fluid Screening kit as well. This home drug testing kit allows you to pre-screen your saliva and check if you’ll be able to pass your drug test without fail. Like most pre-employment and instant drug testing kits, this one checks for the presence of the five most commonly abused drugs – amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and PCP. 

2. Oral Clear Saliva Neutralizing Gum

oral clear gumUnlike the other products on this list, Oral Clear’s Saliva Neutralizing Gum is not a mouthwash per se. Instead, it’s a capsule filled with a neutralizing liquid that clears up toxins from your mouth within 30 seconds. This 100 percent edible gum is great for times when you really can’t escape to the bathroom for a quick gargle. Thus, it’s especially useful to drivers who get pulled over for an instant test. 

Pros and Cons

  • Works in 30 seconds, lasts for 30 minutes
  • Discreet and can be passed off as regular chewing gum
  • High success rate
  • Expensive

3. Stinger Detox Mouthwash 2 Fluid Ounce

While Ultra Klean’s Ultra Wash might leave a bad taste in your mouth, Stinger Detox’s mouthwash comes in a yummy vanilla flavor. If you’re inclined to swallow this product, you shouldn’t have to worry as it contains no toxic ingredients and is safe for consumption. 

As a result, you can even take a swig of this mouthwash without having to take a suspicious bathroom break. Since it comes in a rather large bottle, you’re better off hiding it in a less conspicuous container such as an opaque water tumbler. 

However, just like the Ultra Wash, this product hasn’t proven yet to be 100 percent effective, especially for more frequent drug users. Again, this will probably work best for more casual smokers. 

Pros and Cons 

  • Alcohol-free
  • Vanilla flavor 
  • Can be swallowed
  • Large bottle may be suspicious
  • Mixed results

4. Ultra Klean Saliva Detox

Like most of the detoxifying mouthwashes on the list, Ultra Klean’s Ultra Wash Saliva Detox works by neutralizing the metabolites found in your mouth and gums. This temporary solution kills any toxins currently present, but it doesn’t completely remove all the toxins from your system. As such, these products work for about 30 minutes tops.

Ultra Wash is one of the most highly recommended mouthwashes on the market, however, not everyone finds it effective or particularly pleasing. First off, there are a lot of complaints that this mouthwash isn’t the best tasting one. Some folks might even go so far as to say it tastes “horrible”. As for its efficacy, it’s hit or miss, and doesn’t always work for frequent drug users – even after abstaining for a few weeks. 

If you’re a very casual smoker, Ultra Wash might be a good option for you. But if you’re an occasional user, we can’t promise that this brand will help you pass a drug test. 

Pros and Cons

  • Alcohol-free
  • Unpleasant taste
  • Cannot be swallowed
  • Mixed results

5. TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse

If the first two products were created solely for the purpose of passing a mouth swab test, this one is a more practical solution. Aside from being known as an effective toxin neutralizer, TheraBreath Fresh Oral Rinse is also hailed as one of the best solutions to chronic bad breath. Certain drugs can have adverse effects on your teeth and gums, and this mouthwash can help combat the unpleasant side effect called halitosis. 

As for its efficacy as a drug detox treatment, reviews are a bit mixed, but they’re more on the positive side. One downside to this, however, is that it comes in a rather large bottle. If your workplace has been assigned with a seasoned drug tester, they may be able to spot this mouthwash – and know exactly what it’s for – from a mile away.

Pros and Cons

  • Alcohol-free
  • Prevents bad breath
  • Can be swallowed
  • Reduces dry mouth
  • Not 100% effective
  • Large bottle might be suspicious

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon after can you get mouth swab test results?

The sample will either be analyzed on-site or sent to a lab, so you might not find out immediately if you pass or not. On-site testing devices can provide results within a few minutes, but tend to be less accurate. Lab results may be available after at least 24 hours.

Aside from mouthwashes, are there other methods I can use to pass a saliva test?

Peroxide is one of the most common household products said to help with passing a mouth swab test. They say that using peroxide as a mouthwash after thoroughly flossing and brushing your teeth, gums, and tongue, then you will get a negative. 

However, the efficacy of this method relies on literally damaging the inside of your mouth from swishing the peroxide around for several minutes. Repeated rinsing with hydrogen peroxide will not only burn skin and tissue, it can also damage your teeth. Plus, accidental consumption can cause severe illness or even death.

So while some people swear by this method, many have called it a fluke, as it’s unlikely to work if you’re unable to take intense burning sensation long enough.

Is regular mouthwash enough?

It’s definitely the safer alternative to rinsing with peroxide. But while mouthwash is great for ridding the mouth of bacteria, it’s nowhere near strong enough to remove detectable drug toxins from the mouth. You will need specially formulated products to help you pass a saliva drug test, especially when given less than 24 hours notice.

How else can I reduce my chances of failing a mouth swab test?

Other than gargling with a detox mouthwash and abstaining from drugs for a while, consistently good oral hygiene is the pillar of a good ‘anti saliva test’ routine. Brush your teeth twice a day and don’t skip flossing. Drinking water also helps improve saliva production, so don’t forget to hydrate!

Can I choose to decline a mouth swab test?

In most cases it’s within your right to refrain from taking a drug test, however, this can raise a lot of suspicion with your immediate supervisor. Especially if you refuse a test before employment, you might see your position being revoked. When it comes to oral drug testing, being prepared for the test with the right product is the key to passing. It’s also beneficial to know your company’s drug testing policies and have the ability to predict potential circumstances in which you may be asked to undergo saliva testing.


When it comes to surprise mouth swab testing, your best plan of action is to always be prepared! You should have nothing to worry about if you take advantage of a high-quality mouth detox product.